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Chico Caldwell Archives - North Carolina Coalition for Charter Schools

Bladen Journal Spotlights Charter School Mentors

By News

The Bladen Journal has just published an inspiring story of mentorship and its impacts on Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy, located in Elizabethtown. The state’s only military public charter school, PRBLA had a difficult start and spent years as a low-performing school. Eventually, PRBLA brought in Chico Caldwell and his wife, Bertha, to serve as mentors and help turn the school around.

Chico and Bertha Caldwell, both longtime educators, serve as mentors at Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy, a public charter school. Photo credit: The Bladen Journal.

A longtime educator with nearly four decades of experience working in higher education, Chico focuses on leadership. (He is also one of the Coalition’s Preferred Vendors.) Bertha is a former teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent with experience working in low-performing schools.

Here’s what Chico told The Bladen Journal about his emphasis on school culture and leadership:

We started with drive and they were all about culture … It’s an all-science base, and when you can change the culture, you can change the game. So, the idea is, when you build a success culture, teaching and learning can be at its best. We are also very aware that it starts with the leadership.

The school also brought in a new leader, hiring Dr. Jason Wray to serve as superintendent. A 20-year U.S. Army veteran, Dr. Wray also served for eight years as the principal of East Bladen High School. (Read more about Dr. Wray’s innovative leadership in this Coalition Q&A).

And here’s what Chico said about Dr. Wray:

The academy then hired Dr. Jason Wray as the superintendent at PRBLA … He had the vision. He bought in and began asking questions about determination and drive and Wray wanted to know exactly what I did when I came to his building. That question just pumped me up because I knew then that he wanted to know how I planned on changing the game … What was amazing about him, was that he took that information and aligned it with the direction he wanted to take the school … We still meet every first and third Tuesday of every month just to talk about alignment.

Read the full article from The Bladen Journal.